[ft] BTis preparing to open up its underground ducts so that rivals can run their own high- speed broadband networks through the telecoms company's infrastructure.
Action by BT could allow competitors to lay their optical fibre cables without the expense of digging up pavements.
BT's willingness to open up its ducts marks an important policy shift and emphasises the intensifying political and business pressure it faces.
Last month the Conservatives pledged that, if the party were to win the next general election, they would legislate to force BT to open up its ducts . The Tories hope their legislation could stimulate market-led investment that would ensure superfast broadband networks reach rural as well as urban areas.
BT stressed it had been talking to Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, since last year about opening up its ducts and that its decision was not a response to the Conservatives.
BT to share its tunnel network with rivals